Starting an Edibles Business – The Top Tips & Step by Step Guide

how to start an edibles business

Let’s be honest. We’ve all had high dreams about Willy Wonka-like confections that we’d love to try ourselves. Or, now that edibles are legal, wish an edibles manufacturer would make. In 2023, the chance of that dream becoming a reality for everyday consumers, professionals, and cannabis admirers, is greater than ever, especially in California. 

California is one of the most established, and advanced US cannabis markets, that offers unique market entry opportunities through specialized licensing. That means starting an edibles business in the state can take not only less time but also less capital. 

Ready to put your money where your mouth is and eat up the chance to start an edible company? Then you’re in the right place! Keep reading for our first edition in our series on how to start an edibles business in California in the simplest and most seamless way possible.

how to start an edibles business in california

Starting an Edibles Business – Step by Step

Let’s waste no time and get right into our step-by-step guide on starting an edibles business in California. 

#1 – Research markets

Researching the market you’re about to enter is critical for any new product or business, but even more so with cannabis due to its fast-paced nature. For instance, in the past two years, we’ve seen a trend toward an increase in solventless cannabis goods. In addition, consumer preferences are trending toward consumables that don’t need to be inhaled because of health concerns or other problems. 

For edibles specifically, vegan, gluten-free, and specialty goods, like fast-acting effects, are just on the cusp of rising in sales and should all be considered when you’re learning how to start an edibles business, especially in a health-conscious market like California. 

#2 – Create a business, funding, and licensing plan 

The next step is similar to starting any other type of business, outside of having to become licensed to manufacture and sell edibles. To learn more about what you’ll need in a business plan and for funding and licensing to start an edible company, check out our in-depth guide here. 

As for funding, it’s important to note that because cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I drug federally, not all traditional lending options will be available. Luckily, as the industry has legitimized itself over the last decade, there are now more available loans and funding sources for starting a cannabusiness than ever before. 

In regards to licensing, California is unique in offering a Type-S license that allows for contract cannabis manufacturing or shared manufacturing opportunities. Another streamlined market entry point is cannabis white-label or private-label goods, which has its benefits for new cannapreneurs, too. 

#3 – Selecting ingredients

When you’re starting an edibles business, it’s likely that you have one, or a small collection of products, in mind based on your market research and business plan. The next step in making that a reality is selecting the ingredients that will best support that unique cannabis edible. 

For example, is the goal of your business to make clean, organic gummies with locally-sourced California ingredients? Then you’ll need to find suppliers and research which ones are most cost-effective for your forecasted financials.

#4 – Formulating recipes and manufacturing

Now’s the fun part! Starting an edible company will require a lengthy R&D process that tests recipes for flavor, texture, dosage, and overall quality. In this process, you’ll seek out and purchase equipment and supplies while troubleshooting all the unique quirks in manufacturing to ensure the initial recipe is all smoothed out before heading to mass production. 

#5 – Packaging and labeling 

If you think it’s even more fun and games when you’re done manufacturing, you’d be wrong. Not only are there strict rules for getting a license and making edibles, but the packaging of the products is just as scrutinized. Here’s just a glimpse at some of the state’s Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) requirements, which we’ll go into more in-depth in the second part of our starting an edible company series – 

Cannabis packaging must be – 

  • Child-resistant
  • Tamper-evident
  • Resealable (if more than one serving)
  • Opaque (if an edible cannabis product)

For labeling, there’s an even longer list of requirements that must all be adhered to before going to sale. Back to thinking about what kind of license will work best for your business: an experienced cannabis contract manufacturer can help with compliance in a way that saves time and effort and keeps your business from losing money because of mistakes. 

#6 – Selling 

The last step in starting an edibles company is selling the product you’ve worked so hard to manufacture. Of course, this is a step that’s easier said than done. Keep in mind that it’ll take a significant amount of legwork to contact retailers and purchasers to pitch and sell your products. This point highlights yet another benefit of partnering with a cannabis contract manufacturer, who often has ties or connections to local retail storefronts. 

How to Vet Potential Cannabis Manufacturers in California

Cannabis enthusiasts are naturally creative, which is exactly why we need more of their minds in the growing edibles market. Even more, just as other retail industries are seeing trends towards consumers “shopping small” and supporting small businesses, the same goes for cannabis consumers. So, will you be the next start-up or budding cannapreneur that California is eager to support? 

My Green Network helps make those creative dreams come true by supporting entrepreneurs who are starting an edible company. We’ve helped over 20 brands launch successfully into California’s market and are just getting started. Now that you know the basics of how to start an edibles business in California, take the next step by contacting our team for a facility tour or discovery call. 

Come meet our team of edibles experts and explore our membership and licensing types. Learn more here, and stay tuned for more in our series on how to start an edibles business. Next topic? Compliance!

California White Labeling: The Top 3 Products to Launch in 2023!

In the California cannabis industry, there are trends among cultivators, manufacturers, and consumers. From outdoor and organically grown, to solventless, to product types, there’s seemingly something “new” to pivot towards, more often than in most industries. For operators looking to maximize their business’ bottom line, it’s essential to be aware of these trends to get ahead of the increasing pool of competitors. 

Looking towards 2023, the biggest trends to watch for those looking to survive the market are the lowering of flower prices and increased consumer demand for varying products. Of course, after years of hard work and millions of dollars invested in your already licensed operation, or if you’re starting out – you might be wondering, “How can I most cost-effectively take advantage of what’s ahead?” 

Partnering with cannabis manufacturers in California to launch private-label cannabis or white-label cannabis is another trend that’s growing in popularity among established, and ‌emerging brands. Why? Because without going through the traditional, strenuous licensing and start-up processes, you can have your brand’s white-label cannabis product on retail shelves before you know it. 

So, to help your business and profits grow, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to the top four white-label cannabis and private-label cannabis consumables to consider producing in the coming year. Keep reading to learn all about California white labeling and how you can take advantage of its major benefits.


cannapreneur meaning

The Top 3 White Label Cannabis Products to Launch

As consumer tastes change, so should the products you think about putting on the market in California. So, let’s take a look at the four fastest-growing product categories available for white-label cannabis manufacturing. 

White Label Concentrates

Another consumer trend is the desire for potency, which concentrates deliver. Solventless and solvent-based concentrates like live resin, live rosin, badder, and budder can contain THC with percentages in the 90% range, more than three times the strength of most flower. As consumers have become more familiar with dabbing, and concentrate consumption, sales have grown by over 40% for the product category. 

Even better, concentrate prices are on the rise, with an average 7.3% increase for a gram from 2019 to 2020. It’s also important to note that consumers are seeking solventless concentrates (e.g., ice water hash and live rosin) and solventless vapes, specifically, as health concerns over non-solventless vape carts grow, too. 

White Label Edibles 

Again, as consumers shift towards ‘smokeless’ or healthier ways to consume, white-label edibles are another growing product category to consider. Recently, the edibles product category, led by gummies and chocolates, reported a 20.4% YOY growth in sales, more than 2% more than the total market share altogether. 

Cannabis manufacturers in California with proven skills and abilities can help brands meet rising consumer demand for high-quality edibles faster than traditional routes. 

White Label Pre-Rolls

In addition to potency and healthier ways to consume, consumers are also showing their love for convenience through the growth of white-label pre-rolls. In fact, infused pre-rolls deliver on two of these preferences with the added infusion of cannabis oil, which increases flower potency from 15–30% up to 40–50%. 

The pre-roll category has also experienced recent growth, with a 38.9% YOY increase from 2020. Of course, since pre-roll manufacturing is the newest of them all, it’s crucial to vet a white-label manufacturer’s ability to produce quality, smooth smoking, and flavorful products. As you can lose repeat customers quickly on pre-rolls that sideburn or canoe, extinguish completely, or are clearly made with shake or trim. 

Last but not least, as reported by Forbes, a recent survey shows cannabis consumers are also more focused on price in light of rising costs and inflation. Meaning, it pays for brands to explore alternative product production methods like cannabis white labeling, which reduces the amount of overhead and startup costs that new brands would typically have to markup prices to make up for.3

How to Vet Potential Cannabis Manufacturers in California

Of course, if you do go the white-label cannabis route, there are a few things you should keep in mind when selecting which cannabis manufacturer in California to partner with. To help, here is a list of frequently asked questions we hear from prospective brands in regard to My Green Network’s white-label cannabis capabilities: 

  1. Do you perform packaging?
  2. Do you have a design/branding team
  3. What is your distribution and retail footprint?
  4. What is the lead time to produce? 
  5. How long is your queue? 
  6. Have you made this product before? 
  7. Can we watch you make the product?

For the utmost success in launching a California white labeling collection, be sure your cannabis manufacturer in California has the experience, retail connections, and compliance expertise to avoid any potential issues that could affect the sale of your product. 

Overall, white-label cannabis market entry lets brands put more time, money, and effort into the successful launch of their product, while manufacturers simplify the complicated work that goes into making a top-quality product. 

California White Labeling for Cannabis Trends 

If you’ve perused the California shelves recently and wondered, “How did that brand grow so quickly?” The answer could just be California white labeling. One of the biggest benefits of white-label cannabis manufacturing, beyond its cost savings, is the fact that consumers are most often none the wiser. 

With your brand’s label on the outside and high-quality cannabis on the inside, brands can now expand into different product categories without hurting their reputation or credibility and reach a wider audience of consumers. 

Interested in becoming the next brand to take advantage of California white labeling or private label cannabis business growth opportunities? Schedule a tour at My Green Network, the premier cannabis manufacturer in California, which offers unique market entry points for out-of-state, out-of-country, in-state, established, or new cannabis entrepreneurs. 

Learn more about our facility and offerings, or get in touch with our team now!